SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - A Scottsdale couple who has a kids' YouTube Channel, and collaborated with some of the allegedly abused kids from Maricopa, says they're shocked to hear about the alleged abuse.
Tawny and Zeb Schnorr have their own YouTube channel called "Extreme Toys TV" say they couldn't believe it when they heard that children in another popular Arizona YouTube channel were abused by their mother.
Machelle Hobson of Maricopa, is accused of forcing her seven adopted children to star in YouTube videos. If they refused or couldn't recall their lines, they were punished. Allegations of the abuse include locking them in a closet, using pepper spray, and starving the children.
"I'm literally sick to my stomach. I mean it's something you hear about but it doesn't hit so close to home," Tawny Schnorr said.
Tawny and her husband Zeb have helped their two sons create their YouTube videos.
"My kids are my everything and if they came to me and said that they didn't want to do YouTube, then it would be over," Tawny said. "To force them to say lines--we don't even give our kids a script so to hear that other kids are put to that level of performance, I had no idea."
Zeb said that someone from the Maricopa YouTube channel reached out to Extreme Toys TV about a collaboration.
Two weeks ago, two of Hobson's seven children adopted children came to the Scottsdale home to shoot a video.
"Normal kids, normal playing, they played with the kids, they ran around the house," Zeb said. "I wish I would've seen it. I mean, it's frustrating; it's maddening to not be able to pick up on things like that, especially when we work with kids all day."
The Schnorrs said they never met Hobson, but her older sons, Logan and Ryan, brought the children over for the shoot.
Logan and Ryan are both facing charges of failing to report abuse of a minor.
"There's a lot of guilt. I mean I feel like there should've been something that I should've seen, but I didn't," Tawny cried.
Tawny and Zeb immediately deleted the video and any pictures from that day from their social media accounts.
"Clearly they didn't have an advocate, so I mean as a society, be their advocate and don't support what was happening there. Don't watch their videos, don't follow them, sever ties, because that's the only thing you can do," Tawny said.
Note: Pinal County Superior Court clarified Machelle Hobson's last name. Pinal County Sheriff's Office mistakenly had her last name as Hackney.